need blind admission is a fairy tale

From the Harvard admission website:

Admission to Harvard is need-blind, by which we mean that financial need is not an impediment to admission…

Financial aid at Harvard is entirely need–based and we are committed to meeting the demonstrated need of all students.

Other top US universities offer similar guarantees to prospective applicants. The full list can be viewed here.

On paper it’s a noble philosophy, a refreshing piece of evidence that success can be had without buying it. Looking down the road, policies like these at the gateways of our top universities shine light on the path toward class mobility and the un-disenfranchisement of our nation’s minority groups.

Sadly, according to the numbers it’s just false.

To show this, we first need to consider what makes a strong candidate for admission to a school like Harvard. If you ask anyone with professional experience in the college admission industry, you’ll likely hear him or …more